Christian Science Universally Available

 

Bicknell Young, C.S.B., of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

Bicknell Young, C.S.B. of Chicago, Ill., lectured last night at Cadle Tabernacle on the subject, "Christian Science Universally Available." The lecture was under the auspices of the five churches of Christ, Scientist, Indianapolis. Doyle O. Rowland introduced Mr. Young who is a member of The Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass. His lecture follows in full:

 

God Is Mind

There has never been given to the world a more reassuring and cheering message than that expressed by the words, God is Mind. It is basic to all understanding and practice of Christian Science. It disposes of the great cloud of beliefs which has associated the word "God" with material concepts. It strengthens our religious convictions and comforts and sustains us with the naturalness of the divine Presence, and it awakens us to the recognition of divine possibilities in our everyday human existence.

At a time when uncertainty prevails and fear and indecision haunt the councils of the wisest and best among men and nations, the divine fact, God is Mind, reveals omnipresence, to dispel the darkness and to make the crooked straight and the "rough places plain."

Those words do not announce a mere theory. They explain the primal, inevitable, divine Principle of all being and of all that the word "being" divinely signifies.

In the light of the statement, God is Mind, it is self-evident, though it may not at first seem to be so, that ideas which reveal God are divine and eternal. It is by means of such ever-living ideas that Christian Science ennobles science and vitalizes religion. Mankind can in this way learn how to turn to God in the moment of fear or danger or difficulty with the same confidence that a little child feels in the arms of his parent.

Christian Science gives this confidence by explaining how human beings can receive divine help under all the trying circumstances of everyday life and living. It must be remembered, however, that this is the Science of the divine Mind.

Therefore from the very outset it proves the value of right thinking to anyone who may care to test it, and, by the same token, shows the baneful effects of wrong thinking. It thus brings to light the errors of our ways and awakens us to our individual responsibilities in overcoming them, as no other system has ever done.

 

Be Not Afraid

In doing this it shows that fear is the one universal wretched heritage of a race that has deified matter, and demands that such deification cease in order that the day of salvation may be now, as St. Paul says that it is.

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 410), its author writes, "Christian scientific practice begins with Christ's keynote of harmony, 'Be not afraid!'" How shall we learn to obey this command? The answer in this, and in every instance where a question may arise, is to be found in the basic instruction which Christian Science affords. Every thought which comes to us must be tested. To use a beautiful figure of speech, every thought must be taken to the "throne of grace." If it cannot bear that light it is unworthy to be entertained.

That test immediately disposes of fear, for it is not conceivable that the infinite One, the God who is Mind, could have any fear or could conceive of anything fearful within the range of His own infinite, infallible perfection. Anybody here tonight can remember this and can thereby find great freedom from what seems to be either personal or collective fear. Therefore, again and again and always Christian Science admonishes us, "Be not afraid," and shows us how to obey this admonition.

 

The Power of Right Thinking

There is a certain divine naturalness in all this. The basic ideas which belong to this Science give it universal applicability. The influence of thought is no longer a fantastic theory that excites alike ignorant and scholarly derision. No longer is it permissible to believe that we live in a world of matter exclusively.

Quite recently many representative physicians in the United States have expressed themselves to the effect that observation and experience in their profession show unmistakably that the functions and organs of the human body are deleteriously affected by the fretful and conflicting emotions of the human mind. This is equivalent to admitting that the habit of undisciplined mentality, and especially of egotistical and self-centered interests, tends to undermine health. It is obvious, however, that while the recognition by the medical profession of the unhealthful influence of erroneous thought coincides up to a certain point with Christian Science doctrine, it is far from this Science in the actual practice which overcomes wrong thinking and all of its effects.

Uninstructed by Christian Science, we find right and wrong inextricably mixed with our desires, our ambitions, and our anticipations. No one can be sure that his thinking is right unless he learns by means of correct study and instruction that there is an immutable standard, and finds out what and where it is. The human heart has longed for this revelation. In the uncertainties and conflicts of human existence how often and how universally have human beings cried out, "Oh, if there were something secure, something certain, something upon which we could place reliance!"

This unexpressed desire begins to be satisfied when one learns to differentiate between right and wrong thinking. In this connection the word "firmament" as used in the first chapter of Genesis is thus defined in the Christian Science textbook (p. 586): "Spiritual understanding; the scientific line of demarcation between Truth and error, between Spirit and so-called matter." This line of demarcation shows unmistakably that thinking needs to be subject to constant correction. True Christian Science practice is always right thinking. Such thinking is founded in divine Principle and operates as the law of divine Principle. It stands untrammeled and unimpaired in the vigor of this original relationship. Our thinking is right when tested by the law of universal good, and no thinking is right unless that thinking invested with unlimited extension and universal influence blesses everybody, including the thinker. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" is not merely a Christian admonition but is the law of self-perpetuating divine Principle.

 

The Availability to Us of Divine Power

You will observe that when we say, God is Mind, we use the word "Mind" in its infinite meaning, not in any personal or finite sense. In fact, Christian Science shows that the tendency to personalize our redeemer and the way of redemption has not only darkened the religious sense of mankind, but has tended to mislead the Christian world in the hours of greatest need. Nothing finite or personal could represent either our God or our redeemer. Divine ideas alone can meet such a divine requirement.

In this connection it may be remarked that the works of Jesus are as deeply significant as his words. We understand both just in the measure that we attain something of his sublime character. This is equally true of all that relates to him. There is no way of understanding him except in the way that he understood himself. His way was unquestionably the way of pure metaphysics. It bore no resemblance to matter or personality.

He said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Without distorting the meaning we might conclude that the words "greater works" here used may mean more universal works, and certain it is that today the conditions which confront the whole world compel our attention and demand our most sincere and fervent prayers, and we see that only as we go to the Father, that is to say, as we seek and find the oneness of Mind and idea, and thereby prepare ourselves to receive divine help, shall we be able to do these greater or more universal works.

The conventional habits and acquired prejudices of material thinking unquestionably hamper us in this endeavor. Science as generally conceived of depends upon the intellect exclusively, yet here is forced upon our concept of science a moral factor, the idea of the power of Principle, divine Love, heretofore unrecognized, but which when put to the test in everyday life is found to be the chiefest among all. By means of it Jesus illustrated divine power humanly, and thereby showed that divine power is always available to human beings, when they know how to avail themselves of it.

The way is simple but exacting. Jesus said, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." In explaining this way, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in her books, classifies in general terms all of the afflictive phenomena that come within the scope of human life and living. Disease, sin, and death, with all of their manifestations, as well as worry, lack, and anything and everything that in these days we may call depression, are classified as beliefs or errors. Therefore, Christian Science in healing disease as well as in saving people from sin and sorrow and every other evil thing from which they need to be saved, deals not with matter, but with beliefs, primarily and exclusively.

 

Christ the Only Saviour

The New Testament reveals that this was the method of Christ Jesus, and his words and works, when carefully considered, show that the power which he exercised was not personal. He did not claim that no one but himself could do such works. He exemplified the right way of healing for all of us. This way was and is scientific in that it is according to divine Principle and rule, and, being scientific, we may walk in it, and he urged his disciples to do so. It was not his personality that made him the Christ, noble and grand though that personality must have been. It was the true idea of God, the actual truth of being, steadfastly present as his thought or consciousness. This was the Christ, and is the Christ now.

This true idea of God may be and should be ever present with us, according to his words, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," meaning unquestionably even unto the extinction of sin, disease, and death.

This ever-present Saviour, this true idea of God in and as his consciousness, enabled him to overcome death and the grave. He spoke of himself as the Son of God, thereby unquestionably referring to his real selfhood, his spiritual oneness with God. This explains what real sonship is. When our understanding approximates the same standard of absolute Truth, it indicates the same sonship, our real selfhood.

In the twenty-first chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, Jesus prophetically depicts the error of sheer materialism in graphic figures of speech, which are quite as applicable to our time as they were to his: "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." The expression "for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" is particularly apt in view of the fact that the materialism which mankind has ignorantly invested with almost supreme power has indeed been shaken. The admonition and the promise, however, of all that he said on that occasion are to be found in the twenty-eighth verse: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

These words are absolute and unequivocal. They indicate unmistakably that we are individually required to take part in our own redemption and in the redemption of our fellow man.

 

Materiality a False Basis

Clinging to materiality and seeking materiality simply accentuate the conditions that seem to trouble us individually and racially. The human need is apparent on every hand. Thinking of our troubles is not the way by which to overcome them. Thinking of our need will not meet our need. Material systems of healing and political nostrums of government have failed to make health prevalent or nations secure. Notwithstanding the great improvement in the mere mechanism of existence, there was never more uncertainty and fear, never more questioning and doubt, never more lack of faith in mere human expedients than today.

The average individual if asked whether he can do anything about such conditions or whether he possesses any power to aid mankind or even himself in such a predicament naturally answers, No; yet the rule is the same as it was two thousand years ago: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

 

Healing Within Reach of All

If supreme faith is requisite, then sincerity and simplicity are essential in order that the ideas which constitute the activity of divine law may be grasped and demonstrated. Beginning modestly we must continue in the same way. At the same time it would not be becoming modesty, but mere ingratitude if we doubted that our sincerity and devotion to divine Principle could bring us help in this or any hour.

The way in which the healing takes place is mental, or, to speak more accurately, spiritual. It is well known that the practice of this Science is not associated with material remedies or material systems of any kind. It is also well to state that Christian Science has nothing in common with thought transference or telepathy or mental suggestion or hypnotism, and in no respect resembles any other method usually called mental. It is Christian, with none of the aspects whatsoever of paganism or magic.

Every thought that accurately explains Christian Science, every thought that makes it correctly apprehensible, every thought that is employed in the true practice of this Science is of divine origin. The whole trend of this Science is to glorify God, good, and to enable mankind to lay hold upon the divine power and utilize it to meet the human need.

Now, if this is proved true, if this Science understood can invoke divine aid, then beyond all question anything that ought to be accomplished to bless and benefit us individually and racially is possible. That individual cases of disease are healed in thousands of instances is therefore not only a matter of great satisfaction and thankfulness on the part of those who are healed, but it is also of great encouragement to individuals, communities, governments, nations, and all mankind.

Why is this so? Simply because of the fact that it can be shown and proved that everybody's belief about disease constitutes the so-called law of disease. In healing any specific case Christian Science treatment nullifies this false law. It is not conceivable that anything less powerful than omnipotence itself could thus destroy the malign influence of fears and beliefs with which humanity individually and collectively afflicts itself.

Let it be said, however, that while it is true that Christian Science Mind-healing may be demonstrated for one person by another, yet it is equally true that the full benefit of this unique Science is gained only by individual effort, and it must be seen that the prejudices and fears which sometimes cause one to hesitate to accept the one infinite Mind as the basis of thought and action are without foundation. One multiplication table is enough for everybody. One honesty is equally so. Everybody may have all of either or all of both, and no one else be deprived of the same full measure of either or both. So it is with one infinite Mind.

 

Understanding Versus Belief

I must, however, remind you that to test the truth of any statement for one's self requires something more than mere belief in it. Anyone, however slightly informed, would recognize this to be inevitably true of the science of arithmetic. It is equally true of the Science of Mind. Just as we employ whatever intelligence we may already possess in the science of arithmetic, so we must employ it in the Science of Mind.

Scientific Christianity is thus seen to be essential to the welfare of mankind. The understanding of the inspired word of the Bible is requisite for progress and demonstration. "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" is one of many passages which unmistakably declare the eternality and immanence of Deity. We tried to believe those inspired and inspiring words of Holy Writ, but we had no idea that they were scientific in the sense of being humanly provable. We liked them and we had great reverence for them and this reverence constituted the greater part of our religion, but until Christian Science made them practical in everyday life all such Biblical sayings were regarded more or less as beautiful sentiments merely.

It ought to be readily admitted that an infinite creation, requiring an infinite creator, requires a science commensurate with both. Consequently this Science must rest upon and proceed from supreme intelligence. It is logically impossible that it should be otherwise. Furthermore, infinitely means eternality, and eternality means never dying but ever living. Consequently infinity and everything that shows forth infinitely is undying. To be undying or ever living everything must be and is free from any destructive element. In the one infinite Mind or infinity no sin nor disease could ever have being, and if it were possible for any such destructive element to knock at the door of infinite divine consciousness that destructive element would immediately be dissipated into nothingness because of the allness of infinity.

 

God Is Good

Therefore one of the most helpful statements of Christian Science is "God is good." It is not new but the meaning of it was not fully understood until Christian Science explained it. This Science shows conclusively that infinity must be wholly good, that is to say, good as cause and good in effect. If schools of religion had been as truthful, and that means as scientific, as schools of mathematics, this fact would have been apparent and available throughout the ages of religious history, but it was neither apparent nor available until Christian Science made it so, although stated unmistakably by him who is called the Saviour of mankind, in the words, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

God's creation must inevitably resemble the creator, and consequently be perfect and eternal in every detail. All of this perfection exists now and forever. In reality, there will never be more than now, since infinity is now and there need be no more.

 

Spiritual Sight

This hour, according to the testimony of the human senses, is one of anxiety, of fear, doubt, want of faith, and "distress of nations, with perplexity." Though the need appears to be universal, the admonition "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh," is individual. What do these words mean? They must mean that we are to lift our mental or spiritual gaze above our material sight and above all sense-testimony.

 

The Reality of Good

Jesus said to his disciples, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." He was the most profound of philosophers, and Mrs. Eddy declares that he was "the most scientific man that ever trod the globe" (Science and Health, p. 313). It is not possible to believe that he expected them to become suddenly perfect. Unquestionably, he was urging them to think according to the perfection of Principle, for he knew that thinking from the standpoint of Principle is the true way of Science.

This same instruction is quite as good for us as it was for them. Our attitude then must be that of Truth. St. John says in his first epistle, "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth." Consequently when we are asked or ask ourselves what we can do in the face of the apparent plight of civilization today, reflected as it is in the want and worry and woe of millions of people, the answer of Christian Science is clear and explicit. We can affirm and know that such a condition is not the truth of God's creation nor anything like it. It is not truth at all, nor is it true in any of its aspects. It is all error, and seeing that it is error, it is to be so classified, and is to be denied and rejected, no matter how insistently it may appear to be going on or how big it may appear to be.

It is quite common knowledge that Christian Scientists are taught to classify all evil as error and to deny it as such. In healing disease Christian Scientists reject the erroneous testimony of the senses. They do not call suffering or disease truth, nor do they associate it with truth or with anything that is true.

While this simple scientific method of treating disease is capable of an amplification that if entered into here would extend far beyond the time at my disposal, it is well known and quite generally acknowledged that by means of it, diseases of the most virulent nature have disappeared from the human body, showing that those diseases were not primarily material, but were due to a state of erring mentality which Truth corrects.

Now, since Christian Science heals the body, is there any reason why it should not heal the business of a human being? In the light of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, which all Christians in reverence unite in calling God, is one error more powerful than another? It can not be, and this is illustrated by the simple mathematical fact that millions of ciphers placed before a unit could not change to somethingness the nothingness which one cipher placed before a unit signified.

We have need to overcome the belief that evil is large or great. It never has any actual existence. If you were to take the hand of truth and march through the endless corridors of infinity, you would never find any evil. It is well for us to remember this, and that when evil appears to be large it is only just so many ciphers placed before a unit.

In view of all this, the duty of every thinking man and woman appeals to us with ceaseless insistence. It can be fulfilled with ever-growing and intensified joy. When we first consider this duty we are apt to believe that our poor thoughts are of little universal value, and this would be true of poor thoughts, but the thoughts which reveal God are of an entirely different character. They are not primarily human; they are inherently divine. Even our so-called human intelligence cannot be accounted for materially. All the research that has taken place and that has been carried on in the material world, from the lowest to the highest phenomena, has never revealed either intelligence or life in matter. The only way to account for the fact that we are living and thinking is to permit thought to exercise its divine prerogative and reveal its original being.

 

Angels Are Spiritual Intuitions

In ancient times, according to the Biblical record, inspiring and protective ideas sometimes appeared to be visualized to the patriarchs and the prophets. This was according to the tradition and belief of those primitive but inspired thinkers. The day of Science is our day, a different day, a period less primitive. Pure metaphysics alone can explain what would otherwise appear to be mysterious. The word "angels," as used in the Bible, has always had mysterious connotations. Science and Health (p. 581) defines that word thus: "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect." Is not the healing power of divine Principle brought to light in this hour one of these angels? If this be so, then everything depends upon our hospitality. St. Paul wrote, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." It takes new, active, and original thoughts to effect such a desirable transformation.

 

The Opposite of Truth Can Not Be True

The seeming contact of Truth and error is never in the slightest agreement, but is always absolute repulsion. Death never becomes life; error never becomes truth; evil never becomes good; matter never becomes Spirit. In the demonstration of divine Principle, as taught in Christian Science, all evil, of whatever name or nature, is rejected as unreal.

Now this distinction between matter and Spirit, Truth and error, made by Christian Science, and exclusively by Christian Science, has inevitably given rise to much comment and not a little opposition. Our critics in the intensity of their misunderstanding sometimes forget to exercise even ordinary judgment. They often choose to ignore the widely demonstrated facts that Christian Science is a scientific system of overcoming all evil, that it springs from divine power, and operates as the law of divine power, and that it does all this by giving us an understanding of Truth which enables us to deal with error fundamentally, rather than superficially. Now dealing with error fundamentally does not, in all reason, make Christian Science less worthy, but rather more worthy to be called Science. In order to be what it legitimately is, namely Christian Science, its propositions must necessarily be in accordance with the words and works of Jesus the Christ. They must be Christian in order to be true.

 

Demonstration Necessary

So it is, that just as in all demonstrable science, and notably in higher mathematics, the propositions which constitute this science are not obviously true. They must be tested. Here the analogy ceases, however, for Christian Science is not only a discovery but a revelation. Its propositions are spiritually true and humanly redemptive. Diseases which were real to those who were suffering because of them, were unreal to the enlightened thought of Christ Jesus, and he proved them to be unreal by healing them, thus giving to the persons who believed diseases to be real the proof that they were actually unreal.

Why should anybody contend for the reality of disease since everybody would be glad if there were no disease? Is it not clear that if there were no disease, disease would be unreal? Now since our desires have this common ground, why should not our intelligence be exercised according to our common desires and needs? The divine Principle, the one Mind, in all its infinitude, does not include or provide for any such thing as disease. Seeing that we are all thinking all of the time in one way or another, and granting that our thoughts have some influence in our own lives and possibly in the lives of other people, why should we not entertain those thoughts which are most likely to bless ourselves and others? The reasonableness of such a course must appeal to all people, whether or not they have as yet fully subscribed to the teachings of Christian Science.

Through all this it may be observed that Christian Science alone explains Christian Science. For ordinary systems of science or religion to attempt either to ignore or to explain the extraordinary healing and redemptive work of this Science is futile. The only result of such endeavors has been confusion.

It is cheering to observe a change in this respect. An attitude of disdain toward a system that has proved its raison d'etre for nearly three quarters of a century is not ordinarily intelligent. It is therefore interesting to note that those who formerly tabooed Christian Science utterly have recently taken to writing books about it, and especially about the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. While much of what has been written and published in this way has been intentionally derogatory of her whom hundreds of thousands of Christian people look upon as the most inspired character that has appeared upon the stage of human experience since the first century of the Christian era, the effect has been to extend and increase the interest in the subject itself. This is exactly what has occurred throughout the history of this movement, and such signs and others of a similar nature show that Christian Science lives and thrives under opposition just as the word of Truth has always done and always will do.

That we human beings are encumbered with a material and finite sense of existence is in itself an acknowledgement of the need of divine help, and it is also a silent plea for mutual consideration and good manners. None of us would enjoy to have our idiosyncrasies placed under the magnifying glass of ill will, but in such an event we might at any rate have the cold comfort of knowing that the resultant exaggerated views were misrepresentations. Mrs. Eddy's ideals, her devotion to Principle, her life of unselfishness, and more especially the strength of her Christian character, all become objectionable traits when seen through the eyes of prejudice and interpreted with the pen of envy and malice.

It is both interesting and instructive to observe the utter failure of all such methods. The sale of the Christian Science textbook has apparently often been increased by the publication of books which were intended to accomplish an entirely different purpose. Neither ignorant misunderstandings nor mischievous misinterpretations of Mrs. Eddy's character have affected her demonstrated achievements in the slightest degree. The healing power and influence of Christian Science now recognized throughout the greater part of the civilized world, broadening and every day rising higher in the estimation of mankind, constitute an enduring monument to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

 

The Spread of Christian Science

Because of this healing work, Christian Science churches and societies are now to be found not only in practically every country of Europe, and North America, but in the islands of the sea and in various places in Africa and Asia, and notably in Australia, indicating unmistakably the widespread and ever-growing interest in a church "which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing," to quote the words of its Founder, Mary Baker Eddy (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 17).

The church services, consisting of reading from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, are uniform throughout the world, and it is to be observed that the congregations generally test the capacity of the commodious buildings in which the services are held. These churches and societies are branches of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Christian Science Publishing Society, which is under the direction of The Mother Church, was established by Mrs. Eddy for the dissemination of Christian Science. It publishes The Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, Christian Science Quarterly, containing the Lesson-Sermon used at the church services, The Herald of Christian Science, which is published in German, French, Scandinavian, Dutch, and Braille, and The Christian Science Monitor, an international daily newspaper which is known practically over the whole world.

The growing demand for these publications is such that today there is being erected in Boston a magnificent building of very large proportions, to provide adequate accommodations, as far as it is possible to do so at this time, for the publication of Christian Science literature.

 

Mrs. Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy discovered this Science. She was the first practitioner of this Science. Those who were benefited by her ministrations did not immediately understand her teachings. For years she had to stand alone, and she had to present and prove to mankind the value of original and revolutionary ideas concerning God, man, the universe, and the healing Christ. Gradually those who were healed and helped became adherents to her doctrine and many of them entered upon the practice of healing the sick by the method which she had discovered and which at first she alone taught.

I knew Mrs. Eddy only slightly, but in view of much that has been said of her by writers who never saw her and who really knew nothing about her, it may not be improper for me to speak of one particular interview which I was privileged to have with her and during which I could observe her closely.

Because of this I have more than once been asked to describe Mrs. Eddy. She was in all that constitutes personal appearance well worth describing, and yet I could not attempt to describe her because something greater than any human personality, however attractive, commanded one's exclusive attention in Mrs. Eddy's presence.

Although she kept in touch with contemporary affairs and was thoroughly alive to the circumstances and events of a changing world, still it could be observed that she looked out upon the world rather than out from it; and in the case of this particular interview the thought of her personality was lost in the unique eloquence with which she spoke of the grandeur of divine Science and of the blessings which must accrue to mankind through the acceptance of this Science. She spoke much of the power and presence and immutable law of Love, . . . and when an instance was mentioned wherein she had been as much wronged as it is possible for one person to be wronged by another, her spontaneous forgiveness was couched in the noblest terms of pure Christianity.

In Science and Health (p. 1) Mrs. Eddy writes: "Regardless of what another may say or think on this subject, I speak from experience. Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God's gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind."

 

The Search for Truth

It is the practical value of this Science which excites the curiosity of the average man or woman. This interest once awakened grows and nourishes by its own inherent relation to the permanency and reality of Truth. Thus the adoption of Christian Science, according to the alarmed forecasts of our critics, threatens to be universal. It is a part of the duty and privilege of a lecturer to accept the prophecy and dispel the alarm. When King Agrippa said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian," the apostle answered, "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." So in our day the demonstrable understanding of Christianity holds out not merely a hope but the assurance that the power of God revealed, and thus made available, can meet the individual and universal needs of mankind with absolute certainty and supreme satisfaction.

Our needs often appear to be many and divergent, but they are actually few and identical. We have been led to believe that happiness depends upon circumstances and possessions, and humanity has quite generally accepted the old philosophical dogma that the object of life and living is the attainment of happiness, while the truth is that happiness is the essential nature of true being, the very essence of the one Mind, the divine Principle, announced in the words of St. John, "God is love." Let us then start with happiness instead of merely seeking it. Let us accept the admonitions of the Bible, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation," and, "Rejoice evermore." In so doing we shall find that Christian inspiration is sustained and corroborated by divine reason and unanswerable logic.

As step by step in entering upon this path of pure Science your thoughts begin to "acquaint themselves with God," as the Christian Science textbook (p. 107), paraphrasing the Bible, says that they should do, you will see that they also begin to take on the law and power of that divine acquaintanceship. It will become more joyously clear to you that Christian Science is demonstrating what is already and forever true and perfect and at hand.

You will see that all that means cause, basis, incentive, impulsion, plan, purpose, power, and law, all that means Life and the reality of Life, and the ability to sustain and perpetuate the law of health and Life, already exists and is divinely and immutably operative in our behalf when thoughts unerringly acquaint themselves with God, the one Mind, and just as unerringly reject the belief that there is any other mind or any necessity for any other mind.

On page 469 of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, the author writes, "There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if mortals claimed no other Mind and accepted no other, sin would be unknown."

 

God Available to All

The healing influence and unction of this one infinite presence requires no medium other than itself and could have none. Necessarily, God acts by the directness of His own omnipresence and the immutability of His own law.

Accepting the ideas of the infinite Mind, Science requires that we reject the beliefs and fears and theories which constitute what are called mortal mind or the human mind. In this way alone can we avoid the adulteration of the practice of Christian Science, an adulteration which would inevitably ensue if we were erroneously led to believe that what is called the human mind, or mortal mind, could be a medium for the action of the divine Mind.

Prior to the advent of Christian Science, the basic proposition of this Science, "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (Science and Health, p. 468), to be found in the paragraph called "the scientific statement of being," in the Christian Science textbook, was a proposition either wholly unknown or but dimly perceived even by the most enlightened, consequently the Science of Mind, revealed exclusively in divine ideas and dealing solely with thoughts and beliefs, was also unknown. It needs to be accepted more simply and tested in individual experience according to the directness of its method. This method may briefly be described as the affirmations of eternal spiritual Truth and the consequent rejection of evil of any name or nature whatsoever.

If one doubts the value of such a course and believes it unworthy to be called scientific let him persistently differentiate mentally between good and evil, cleaving to the one and rejecting the other, for a single day. By so doing one can prove for himself whether the simple but exacting method of Christian Science is really scientific. This necessity for correct thinking or for thinking at all sometimes seems to be discouraging for those who have supposed that Christianity was a mere system of belief and blind faith, and heaven a place to be attained through death, but such a one may take heart. Sincerity opens the door to divine understanding.

Our real prayers are therefore praise rather than supplication, for Christian Science revealing the fact that God is Mind, the infinity of good, reveals the perfection that already is and always was and always will be. Nothing could be added to it, nothing taken from it. All of its details, all of its relationships are eternal and divinely harmonious. Let this be our understanding in regard to our homes, our churches, our country, our world.

Thus we may help in bringing to pass universally the real government of divine Principle. Speaking of this on page 565 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes: "The impersonation of the spiritual idea had a brief history in the earthly life of our Master; but 'of his kingdom there shall be no end,' for Christ, God's idea, will eventually rule all nations and peoples — imperatively, absolutely, finally — with divine Science."

 

[Delivered May 4, 1933, at Cadle Tabernacle, Indianpolis, Illinois, under the auspices of the five churches of Christ, Scientist of Indianapolis and published in The Marion County Mail of Indianapolis, May 5, 1933. Also published in The Chicago Leader, July 16, 1937.]

 

 

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